IMDb > Ichi (2008)
Ichi
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Ichi (2008) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 3)
Ichi -- Beautiful Ichi wanders blindly from village to village, searching for the sightless swordsman who long ago taught her to kill. Her technique is exquisite and explosive, her defenses as impenetrable as the darkness in which she moves. Many along her solitary path are touched – some by the sound of her delicate music, others by the edge of her lethal blade.
Ichi -- Trailer for Ichi
Ichi -- Home Video Trailer for this samurai tale

Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   2,396 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Kan Shimozawa (story) and
Taeko Asano (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Ichi on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 October 2008 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Ichi is a blind woman who roams about town with her shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese guitar), but she has exceptional sword skills with which she fights off yakuza and other villains. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Dull and Expressionless!! See more (18 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Haruka Ayase ... Ichi

Shidô Nakamura ... Banki
Yôsuke Kubozuka ... Toraji Shirakawa
Takao Ohsawa ... Toma Fujihira
Gô Rijû ... Kihachi

Mayumi Sada ... Mitsu
Tetsuo Yamashita
Ayumu Saitô
Toru Tezuka
Kumiko Tsuchiya
Shirô Namiki ... Kataoka
Tetta Sugimoto ... Blind man
Megumi Yokoyama ... Toma's mother
Eri Watanabe ... Ohama
Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi
Akira Emoto ... Chobei Shirakawa
Yûto Nakano
Shôichirô Masumoto
Ryôsuke Shima ... Kotaro
Katsuya
Kôji Motegi
Yuuki Natsusaka
Kotarô Tomomitsu
Kôichi Taniguchi
Kenji Yoshioka
Issei Okihara ... Ushitora
Yasuomi Sano

Mitsuki Koga ... Jako
Ryûki Kitaoka
Tadashi Oiwa
Usagi Kôno ... Blind Vaudevillian
Yukina Kashiwa ... Young Ichi
Kazuma Chiba ... Young Toma
Wakako Matsuzaka ... Blind Vaudevillian
Reita Serizawa
Toshiki Masuda ... Thug
Masaki Katô
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yûko Endô
Daishirô Hano
Horiken
Yoshihiro Ishizuka
Eiko Kotake ... Blind Vaudevillian
Hiroki Matsukata
Masaaki Nagae
Riki Takeuchi
R. Bruce Elliott ... Chobei Shirakawa (voice: English version) (uncredited)

Todd Haberkorn ... Toraji (voice: English version) (uncredited)
Gwendolyn Lau ... Blind Vaudevillian (voice: English version) (uncredited)
Andy Mullins ... Villager (voice: English version) (uncredited)

Brina Palencia ... Ichi (voice: English version) (uncredited)
Brandon Potter ... Thug (voice: English version) (uncredited)
Christopher Sabat ... Gambling Thug (voice: English version) (uncredited)
J. Michael Tatum ... Banki (voice: English version) (uncredited)
Kent Williams ... Banki's Follower (voice: English version) (uncredited)

Directed by
Fumihiko Sori 
 
Writing credits
Kan Shimozawa  story and characters and
Taeko Asano  screenplay

Produced by
Nobuhiro Azuma .... producer
Yoshitaka Hori .... producer
Yoshio Irie .... producer
Sumio Kiga .... producer
Hiroyoshi Koiwai .... producer
Toshiaki Nakazawa .... producer
Yûji Shimamoto .... producer
Yasushi Umemura .... producer
Takeshi Yamaoka .... producer
Kôji Yoshida .... producer
 
Original Music by
Michael Edwards 
Lisa Gerrard 
 
Cinematography by
Keiji Hashimoto (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Mototaka Kusakabe 
 
Art Direction by
Takashi Sasaki 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hiroshi Soejima .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Adrian Cook .... sound re-recording mixer
Koji Kasamatsu .... sound effects (as Kôji Kasamatsu)
 
Visual Effects by
Tadao Matsuno .... visual effects supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for sequences of bloody violence, and brief sexuality
Runtime:
120 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:MA (2009) | Canada:18A (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Québec) | France:-16 | Germany:16 | Japan:PG-12 | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:15 | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #45593)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Version of Zatoichi (2003)See more »
Soundtrack:
WillSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Dull and Expressionless!!, 21 February 2011
Author: njmollo from London

Zatoichi, the blind wandering yakuza, as played by Shintaro Katsu, is a broad and irreverent character. He is at times, funny or serious, crafty and silly, pathetic yet heroic. In fact this character tramples over the affectations and customs of the day with intelligence and glee. This finely tuned and expansive portrayal of Zatoichi by Shintaro Katsu is the main reason his numerous films and TV episodes still endure today.

Ichi (2008) is an alternative take on the blind wandering Yakuza character and Zatoichi becomes a blind wandering Goze (female blind musician).

The main problem with Ichi (2008) is that the titular character has no character. Haruka Ayase plays Ichi with only one expression, that of dead-pan emotionless. This incarnation of Ichi has no humour, pity or sympathy. The acting in general is pretty poor with scowling cackling villains complimented by dull non-expression. Apart from the action the film is shot very much like a TV movie.

The fight scenes in the original Zatoichi movies and TV episodes all had one thing in common, the suddenness and brutality of the action. Shintaro Katsu's dexterity and deftness with the sword and also the long single takes allowed the action to be seen and as a result the fights were almost always surprising. In the same way you may enjoy and marvel at a Bruce Lee fight, the same can be said of a Shintaro Katsu sword fight.

In Ichi (2008) this sudden and convincing violence is gone, to be replaced by the cinematic cliché of real-time cut to slow-motion and back again. This gimmick does not help the audience with actually seeing the action, as most of it is missed by the selected camera set-ups or the self-conscious rapid editing. The CGI blood adds nothing to make the violence more authentic.

Haruka Ayase is unconvincing in the fight scenes. She may hit her marks but there is little force behind the sword to make it believable she is cutting up men like butter. This same problem occurred with Azumi (2003) when Aya Ueto skipped through the fight scenes with ineptitude and men simply fell-over.

For the best results in female martial arts action, it is better to cast an actress with a background in dance or martial arts like or Ziyi Zhang in House of Flying Daggers (2004) or Yanin "Jeeja" Vismistananda in Chocolate (2008).

Ichi (2008) is a missed opportunity scuppered by mediocrity.

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